Curacao 'proud' to lift King's Cup in first attempt
Curacao came to Thailand with the aim "to impress and win the 47th King's Cup". and they succeeded in achieving both when they edged Vietnam 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out in the final late Saturday night.
Curacao, the top-ranked team in the tournament, failed to overcome a spirited Vietnam side as they played out a 1-1 draw in regulation time. Under the tournament regulations, any match finishing in a stalemate after 90 minutes of regular play goes straight into a penalty shoot-out.
Curacao coach Remko Bicentini had no hesitation in admitting that Vietnam gave his men a tough time on the pitch in Buri Ram.
"I am very happy that we have won the title on our first appearance in the tournament," said Bicentini.
"We came here to play good football and impress and also to win the 47th King's Cup title and I am proud that we have done it.
"It was not an easy game but I believe we could have won the final within 90 minutes had not Charlison [Benschop] missed several chances.
"Vietnamese are a strong team, especially their goalkeeper [Dang Van Lam] and No.10 player [Nguyen Cong Phuong] have great potential.
"The Vietnamese made things difficult for us in the first half, but we were able to play our game after the break."
After a goalless first half, Curacao went ahead shortly before the hour mark when Jurich Carolina nailed a left-footed drive from outside the box into the net.
Vietnam forced the shoot-out when Tran Van Kien's low cross from the right was dummied by Nguyen Quang Hai into the path of Pham Duc Huy, who tapped a low shot into the bottom right corner.
Thailand captain Teerasil Dangda, who earned his 100 international cap in the War Elephants' 1-0 loss to India in the King's Cup third-place play-off on Saturday, is uncertain about his future with the national team.
"I am very disappointed because personal milestones become meaningless when you lose the match," said striker Teerasil.
The 31-year-old striker added: "I am not sure what is in store for me, but I would understand if I am no more a part of the Football Association of Thailand's plans for the future."